It is All About Attitude: Derek Lackey's Story


Three years ago, Derek Lackey lost his sight (retinal detachment) due to complications from diabetes. He had perfect vision before that and was a journeyman plumber who had just received his Red Seal, enabling him to work in any province. He got engaged two months before he lost his sight. His initial reaction to losing his vision was, “How do I get started? Where do I go from here?”

Sports were always a big passion for Derek, including golf and hockey; he got information from the Manitoba Blind Sports Association about what he could participate in. He explains that with his vision loss, he wasn’t able to move as fluidly and his joints were tight as a result. He decided to try yoga, with its combination of balance, strength and stretching, and found it really helped. His wife’s cousin challenged him to try archery and discovered he loves it. “When you are holding the bow, it’s exciting to have what could be a dangerous weapon you learn to handle properly and with care.” He says it also rebuilt his upper body strength as he learned to wield it. His conclusion: “Taking up archery has taught me that there isn’t anything you can’t do; it’s how you adapt it. You need someone to act as a pair of eyes for you, not to do it for you.” He would like to see sighted people more aware of how they can help those with vision loss in their day to day encounters. “It can be frustrating when people are there but don’t say anything to help. I wish they could think of it in terms of, ‘What if it was you?’”

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